Testing Blood Donors for Suitability

In light of a recent study published by Gammon et al in Lab Medicine, we wondered if blood donation centers had explored options other than ferritin levels to screen for donor suitability. So, a poll! 

Second Case of MERS-CoV in the United States

A second case of MERS-CoV has been confirmed in the United States. The patient lives and works as a healthcare provider in Saudi Arabia. The patient arrived in the US from Saudi Arabia on May 1st and presented to an Orlando, Florida emergency room with a fever and respiratory symptoms on May 8th. The patient experienced symptoms during his flights from Saudi Arabia to London, England; London to Boston, Massachusetts; Boston to Atlanta, Georgia; and finally, from Atlanta to Orlando, Florida. The CDC and local health officials are contacting travelers who may have come into contact with the infected patient. As with the case in Indiana, the patient’s family is voluntarily quarantining themselves at home. The patient is still hospitalized and in good condition.

MERS does not pose a risk to the general public. Evidence suggests that close contact with infected individuals—such as care givers—is needed for transmission. Because antiviral therapy or vaccines aren’t currently available, infection control procedures and rapid detection are our only weapons against MERS.

For more information about this virus, its appearance in the US, and specimen requirements from suspected cases, visit Lab Medicine’s MERS information page.

Edited to add: two healthcare workers who came in contact with the Florida patient have flu-like symptoms.

 

On the Lab Medicine Website

We’ve got some great new content exlusive to the Lab Medicine website to share with you.

Aleksandr Ivanov discusses Barriers to the Introduction of New Medical Diagnostic Tests.

Attipoe et. al. present the unexpected finding of Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense. This is the second documented finding of this particular parasite in the United States.

Beavers et al report a case of an albumin transfusion reaction.

 

On the Lab Medicine Website

We’ve got some content on www.labmedicine.com that is relevant to your interests.

Megan Harley writes about treatments and therapies for sickle cell disease.

Nicholas Moore reviews a color atlas of microbiology.

For the blood bankers out there, Charles Beavers writes a case study about an unexpected antibody in a 1-day-old.

On the Lab Medicine Website

We’ve posted some great features over the last few weeks. A sampling:

-How do NASA scientists test analyzers to see if they’re capable of accurate analysis aboard the International Space Station? This article discusses the process, as does this podcast by the lead author.

-If you’re curious about the effects of brown recluse spider bites, this paper and this video will tell you everything you need to know, including laboratory considerations.

-Middle East Respiratory Syndrome hasn’t reared its ugly head in the States yet, but with international travel it’s just a matter of time before it does. Check out our resource page so you can be prepared.